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The Adornment of the Middle Wayby Shantarakshita
Synopses & Reviews
In the Madhyamakalankara¸ Shantarakshita synthesized the views of Madhyamaka and Yogachara, the two great streams of Mahayana Buddhism. This was the last great philosophical development of Buddhist India.
In his brilliant and searching commentary, Mipham re-presented Shantarakshita to a world that had largely forgotten him, defending his position and showing how it should be understood in relation to the teaching of Chandrakirti. To do this, he subtly reassessed the Svatantrika-Prasangika distinction, thereby clarifying and rehabilitating Yogachara-Madhyamaka as a bridge whereby the highest philosophical view on the sutra level flows naturally into the view of tantra. Mipham’s commentary has with reason been described as one of the most profound examinations of Madhyamaka ever written.
Madhyamaka, or the middle way, describes a path that cuts through all extreme beliefs about existence and nonexistence, relative and absolute. Shantarakshitas Madhyamakalankara presents this profound Buddhist teaching in verse to help students who have received instruction commit it to memory. Jamgön Miphams analytical commentary of the work offers a thorough, authoritative explanation of Shantarakshitas meaning.
About the Author
Shantarakshita, an eighth-century Indian prince, became abbot of the great Indian monastic university of Nalanda, was expert in philosophical disputation, and was universally admired for his intelligence and learning. He was invited by the king of Tibet, Trisongdetsen, to come and spread the Buddhist teachings in Tibet. He established the first monastery in Tibet, ordained the first monks, and inaugurated the tradition of translation of Indian texts.
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